Neutral Rudder: The Final Test
by Jerry Kelly
During your pre-flight, you should do your best to have the rudder in a “neutral” position: No left, no right. During the first flight you should do the following test to make sure the rudder is truly neutral.
1. In flight, trim ailerons for level flight.
2. Put the plane in 90 degree bank.
3. Immediately pull hard (or full) UP elevator.
4. If your airplane tracks for a 180 degree turn without losing or gaining altitude your rudder is as close to straight as it can be.
5. If you chose a left bank and the plane dives when you use elevator you are carrying left rudder. Trim the rudder to the right and try again, until #4 occurs.
6. If your plane climbs when you use rudder then you are carrying right rudder. Trim the rudder to the left and try again until #4 occurs.